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Cameroon: Journalists decry government pressure

Cameroon politics

Members of Cameroon’s National Union of Journalists gathered at the Union’s headquarters on Tuesday in Douala, where they denounced pressures from authorities on the media, in the coverage of Anglophone minority issues in the country.

The members of press were reacting to a directive from Cameroon’s National Communications Council, the country’s media regulator, which threatened to punish press organs broadcasting speeches favoring separatism or federalism ideas being pushed by the leaders of the minority group.

Maximilienne Ngo Mbe, the Executive Director of REDHAC said; “In a State governed by the rule of law, freedom of opinion, freedom of thought and freedom of association are fundamental rights and the Government and the State of Cameroon have an obligation to respect these rights.

“Journalists are not expected to receive injunctions from an organization that has been set up by the government to serve its interests. As such, we have asked our members and the media to ignore the injunctions of the CNC (National Communication Council) because the CNC is not the editor of the Cameroon press,” said Denis Kuebo, the President of the National Union of Journalists of Cameroon (SNJC).

Cameroon’s English speaking regions in the northwestern and southwestern parts of the country have been protesting since November 2016, against government policies which have reportedly marginalized them.

The Anglophone minority constitutes about 20% of the estimated population of 22 million.